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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Bloody Time!!!
Whew!!! Here's a great film that took ages to finaly make it to the DVD format. Hey Fox, what took you guys so long?! Oh well, it doesn't matter. At least it's finally here.

This is the film that single-handedly transformed my perception of what an "old" film could be. I remember when I was thirteen years old (1996) and I caught this one on AMC on a stormy...
Published on May 31, 2005 by P. B. Reynolds

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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NO deleted Joan Crawford scenes
This is not a review on the movie which I like. But its been widely reported all over the internet that the documentary "Hush Hush Sweet Joan" would include about 10 minutes of Joan Crawford filmed scenes. Unfortunately there are NO deleted Joan Crawford scenes. The documentary is more about the filming in general and goes into the Joan/Bette fued and does show many...
Published on April 4, 2008 by E. Coogan


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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Bloody Time!!!, May 31, 2005
By 
This review is from: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (DVD)
Whew!!! Here's a great film that took ages to finaly make it to the DVD format. Hey Fox, what took you guys so long?! Oh well, it doesn't matter. At least it's finally here.

This is the film that single-handedly transformed my perception of what an "old" film could be. I remember when I was thirteen years old (1996) and I caught this one on AMC on a stormy evening. By the fantastic staircase confrontation scene between Velma (Agnes Moorehead) and the sinister Cousin Miriam (Olivia DeHavilland, the movie had absolutely grabbed me by the eyeballs and wouldn't let go. I was captivated. I've had a lifelong love affair with older suspense films such as this one ever since, and this particular masterpiece is still my all-time favorite film.

If you've got a young person in your family who wonders why people are always talking about the "Golden Age" of film, you just pop this baby into the DVD player and let those young'uns learn a thing or two. If they're anything like me, they'll fall in love.
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Aldrich and his All-Hag Revue, January 5, 2001
My initiation into the wonderful world of Bette Davis was at the age of eight, when I begged my father to take me to see "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" at the Center Theater in Sunnyside. I just figured it was a "horror" movie. Well, seeing Bette Davis and company, it was love at first sight! "Charlotte" boasts a cast of "old vets" chewing up the scenery as if their lives depended on it. Miss Davis storms and rages and descends into near-madness as only she could, Olivia DeHavilland, who is a very fine and diversified actress, portrays Bette's sugar-coated rattlesnake of a cousin in a most convincing manner, and Agnes Moorehead-well, what can I say? Her slovenly, white-trash Velma Crother is a sight to behold-the woman was a scene-stealer. Add to this witch's brew an oily Joseph Cotten, the grand Mary Astor, Victor Buono, George Kennedy, and Ellen Corby in a small part, and you're in for a hoot of an evening! The films is a little too long, but with such company, who cares? Nowadays, where "horror" films are populated by 24-years-old and younger performers, I can only think about the "good old days" when the genre boasted seasoned performers whose life experiences didn't take place in shopping malls. "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" is an old-fashioned blood-and-thunder melodrama enacted by performers who had years of theater and screen experience under their belts. There are also nods to "Diabolique","Gaslight", and "Eyes Without a Face" in this deep-fried fag-hag extravaganza. Now, how about an all-drag-queen stage recreation of this camp classic?
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "YOU JUST CAN'T KEEP HOGS AWAY FROM THE TROUGH!", November 29, 1999
"HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE" is my 3rd favorite movie ever. My 2 favorite are Joan Crawford films. I agree with the other reviewer. As great an actress as Joan Crawford was, she would not have been the BEST Miriam. Olivia de Havilland's brilliance in the role of Miriam is the way she played with understatement. That's what makes the psychological abuse inflicted on Charlotte so chilling...Miriam is unbelievably believable right up to the very last. Had Joan Crawford gotten into a power struggle via the camera, the whole film would have suffered. She would have had to keep too much charisma, strength, and presence pumping to hold her own with Bette Davis (which she was ENTIRELY CAPABLE OF DOING). Someday, if it still exists, 20th Century-Fox Video would be able to make a mint by releasing the unreleased film footage shot with Joan Crawford. Agnes Moorehead is excellent as Velma Ca--rothers: "Shooo-weeee! She ain't nothin' but a chiiiiiild..." This is my favorite Bette Davis performance (a close tie with "Deception" from 1946). Joseph Cotton's and Mary Astor's roles could have been walked through by just about anyone, so you can't blame the actors. All in all, you just can't beat "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" for putting the "fun" back into dysfunctional family reunions. Show it at YOUR next one! Hopefully, 20th Century-Fox Video or Key Video will get around to repackaging this title soon. The box artwork has not changed since...well, since about 1964!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ne plus ultra in gothic atmosphere --- an underrated classic, May 15, 2005
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Ever since I was a kid I identified this as "the scariest movie I've ever seen". And even today, despite the fact that as an adult one no longer possesses the same ability to be frightened by a film, "Charlotte" still emerges as one of the of the purest of terror-films in that it hits so many of the back-of-the-dark-closet horror cliches dead-center (in a good way) as few ever quite have.

Oh, sure, it won't compare to later slasher pics for blood (only one person gets sliced & diced, in fact) but the term "southern gothic", to my mind, simply held no real meaning until THIS came out...

Many people don't realize that "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" received more Oscar nominations [7] than any other horror film up to that time, a record tied only by "Silence of the Lambs" (in 1991) and surpassed by "The Exorcist"s 10 nominations (in 1973)... "Charlotte" won none, but the fact it lost the Best B&W Cinematography Oscar (for Joseph Biroc's drippingly dark work) is akin to grave-robbery!

Grander and more haunting than "Baby Jane" (though from the same production team), "Charlotte" is the more seductively macabre movie.

Borne of an era when "real" thrillers were coming to a close, when "Psycho"-period shockers felt so supernatural and creepy (even when they may not have been, technically, supernatural in plot) at the Cold War peak of the early-'60s...

Somehow, it all just feels more forlorn and sacred and sad than sadistic.

It's also one of the most quotable of films --- the dinner scene is a classic in itself. And, if you watch closely, it's chock full of smatterings of various scenes from Bette Davis pictures re-executed.

2005 DVD: the extras aren't great, folks. The commentary is by rote, and they didn't include the 'AMC Backstory' episode so many of us were hoping for. Also, THIS IS NOT total wide-screen, as the film was originally shot in 1:1.85, and the DVD is 1:1.66, so we're still missing some of the sides of the movie!

2008 DVD Update: the new DVD release at least has a HUSH...HUSH, SWEET JOAN mini-doc about Crawford's original participation in the film before ducking out--- regrettably, none of her scenes are apparently available; also, the copy is full and proper 1x1.85 dimensions, unlike the 2005 DVD.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hush Hush, only if we get a DVD, October 31, 2004
Bette Davis had a remarkable career. She is by far one of the best actresses that I have ever seen. She was capable of a range of emotions. "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane" is a wonderful example of the other end of the spectrum from this movie. This movie shows how she could be the victim and appealing to our sympathy. In Baby Jane she is deliciously evil. If you like this you must see the other. This movie is psychologically scary and not bad in the physical scary department either.

Olivia de Havilland does a wonderful job of playing a manipulative and overbearing cousin. A far cry from her role in "Gone with the Wind". Agnes Moorehead as a poor self-sacrificing servant is amazing. I always liked her work, but she should have got an academy award for her portrayal here. For that matter all three actresses should have gotten awards. Ask fans of classic movies and they will tell you this is up there near the top. Fans of Bette Davis or Olivia de Havilland should definitely snap this up when it comes out on DVD. I refuse to pay this price for a VHS. Besides with "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane" out on DVD for just fourteen dollars and ninety-nine cents I can't believe they won't follow suit and release this one as well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Bette Davis Flick, August 10, 2005
This review is from: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (DVD)
I first saw this as a kid, and I knew exactly what was going on due to excellent story telling. It was a delight to finally have this movie on DVD--nice job but low on special features (if that is important to you). The commentary, though interesting, was more focused on trivia and actor bios while I would have prefered some technical talk (making of) and actor commentary from the surviving cast and crew of this 41 year old movie. Beautifully photographed in gorgeous black & white, this is a truly gothic movie. It is wonderful to watch these shadowy yet carefully lit dark scenes--and still be able to see everything that we are supposed to see. It's a long movie, but very involving and satisfying. I already knew that Davis would be great, but what really wowwed me was DeHavaland's performance. Moorehead is a hoot. The costumes and hair styles were not accurate in the 1927 prologue but this is a trivial point. The wider screen is an improvement on the full screen VHS versions, allowing us to see the true composition of the shots. Overall, I am pleased that I purchased this DVD.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Campy, creepy fun!, May 8, 2000
By A Customer
I love this film, but every time I see it, I can't help but imagine how Joan Crawford would have delivered some of Miriam's lines, especially when she's smacking poor terrorized Bette Davis across the face. But credit where it is due, Olivia De Haviland (or as Mad Magazine parodied her, "De-hack-a-hand") is excellent! The way she hisses at Charlotte through that cruel snarl, "Now will you shut your mouth!" Bette Davis is the best, and her over-the-top performance in this flick is right up there with her role in 'Baby Jane'. There are some genuinely scary scenes too, particularly the final attempt to drive Charlotte off her rocker! Agnes Moorehead steals any scene she is in! Good fun even after multiple viewings!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Davis at her BEST!, July 19, 2003
By 
Abbey S (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
Every neighborhood has one. You know what I'm talking about, the seemingly crazy old lady that everyone talks ABOUT but no one bothers to talk TO. Why does she never come out of that house? What is she hiding up there? Is she really crazy?
Miss Bette Davis at her best (but if any other actress were acting at this age would be called a has-been) plays the complex part of the old fashion and just plain old southern bell that has her pit against all her demons and all the town's citizens who'd love to see her succomb to them.
Miss Davis BECOMES Charlotte Hollis who is convinced she killed her young lover. The once beautiful social- deb now keeps herself cooped up in the big old house of the family's and doesn't take very well to change.ie:the government coming through the town and wanting to demolish her house to put a highway through.
Enter her cousin Miriam who comes to town to help Charlotte find a way to keep her house (or so Charlotte thinks) but in all actuality is coniving with long time friend of the family, Dr. Drew, to send Miss Charlotte over the edge, and have her committed, leaving all the family's fortune and handling of the properties to (who else but) Miriam!
The town thinks Charlotte's crazy, Charlotte thinks she's crazy, she must be crazy. Right? Wrong!
Look for a scene-stealing Agnes Moorehead as the devoted maid and friend of Charlotte's, and have fun watching this psyco-thriller Urban-legend like movie! If you like Bette Davis and a good old fashion scare, you'll love this movie!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What do you think I invited you here for? Comp-ney?", July 18, 2005
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This review is from: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (DVD)
"Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" is as much a gothic horror story as any told by any true Southerner. While not a direct "sequel" to "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?," HHSC is a true follow-up to the former film. HHSC is absolutely dripping with mood and intensity. You can almost feel the oppressive heat and humidity and smell the crisp night air and the mildewed scent of decaying Spanish moss and rot.

Robert Aldrich should have continued creating films such as these for as long as he could, because he definitely had two hits with WEHBJ and HHSC. He wisely used very tight and unique scripts for both projects, but I have to be honest, I quite prefer "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" to Baby Jane. Part of that is the pervasive mood of Charlotte and part of it is the cast, and the characters that exist in HHSC. Maybe Aldrich managed such a stellar cast for his second outing with Davis because of the sleeper hit status Baby Jane achieved (in fact, it drew Oscar nods for both Davis and Crawford and reinvigorated the careers of both). Regardless, when you have: Bette Davis, Olivia de Haviland (who Davis insisted replace Joan Crawford), Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten, Victor Buono, Mary Astor, and Bruce Dern it is impossible to not have the cast light up the screen.

While a cast such as this was sure to create a box office, "...Charlotte" wouldn't have had the legs it's had all these years if there weren't a good story to go with them - and it certainly has that.

Charlotte Hollis (Davis) is an old spinster who's never been the same since her beau John Mayhew (Dern), who Daddy (Buono) despised was murdered. The townspeople have always believed Charlotte murdered ol' John and though she was never charged with the crime, public opinion long ago convicted her. Living in seclusion in her now decrepit and hauntingly eerie plantation home, Charlotte is desperate for assistance - the once grand southern mansion is scheduled for demolition in order to put in a new highway. Charlotte calls Cousin Miriam (de Havilland) to come down and fix it so that nothing happens to the house. Miriam comes....but she has other plans on her mind - she is going to help Charlotte pack up and get out of the house. She wants to get Charlotte's money...and there's lots of it. Along with her boyfriend, Dr. Bayliss (Cotten), they lay out a plan to have Charlotte committed, as once done, Miriam will be the only Hollis heir left to receive the family fortune.

Weak and fraile, Charlotte would be an easy mark if it were not for her maid Velma (outrageously and stellarly played by Moorehead) and a reporter by the name of Harry Willis (Cecil Kellaway), who seems to have sympathy for the old girl. Regardless, Miriam and Dr. Bayliss are quite determined. How it plays out is what makes this film a tour de force and a nail biting thriller.

As I said, the performances in this film are some of the finest you will ever encounter and it may be because these venerable actors were enjoying the freedom of an independent filmmaker AND because they were all potentially creating a "comeback". However, I don't believe these actors were that selfish in their craft - no, their performances are the creation of a love of their work and the joy they had working with others who were all tops in their field.

With more quotable lines than I can begin to enumerate, HHSC is a film that you must become immersed in. Let the wave of stagnant air and rotting timbers overtake you and you will become a captive of this fine, fine film.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bette and Olivia Nearly Destroy Each Other In This!", April 10, 2009
By 
Terrance Richard "Terry Richard" (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (DVD)
It was announced in December, 1963 that the two stars of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, would be reunited for "Hush, Hush...Sweet Charlotte". After the huge financial and critical success of "Baby Jane", studios were fawning all over themselves for a vehicle the would bring these two movie goddesses back together. Before "Baby Jane" no one wanted Davis and Crawford in their movies, as the film studios felt they did not appeal to the box office. Once Joan and Bette's careers were reignited again, Hollywood was knocking down their doors. "Hush, Hush..." was suppose to star the two, but because of ill health and Davis' harsh treatment of her on the set, Joan fell ill and was hospitalized. What a terrible loss the studio had, as well as us fans, as we never saw Joan as Miriam in the final film. It would have been so neat to see Joan, as Miriam, beating the crap out of Bette as Charlotte, as the complete opposite happened in "Baby Jane", where Bette's character was the antagonist and abuser.
Olivia DeHavilland does, however, give a remarkable performance in this film as Miriam. Olivia detetested doing bitch roles, but both Bette and director Robert Aldrich persuaded her to do the film. What makes her character so evil is the subtext in which she uses in her portrayal: we, as the audience, at the beginning of the picture, believe that Miriam is such a kind-hearted, soft spoken woman who's best interest is her cousin Charlotte's welfare: we soon discover none of this is true as Olivia portrays one of the most evil, psychotic women ever on film.
The rest of the cast is first rate, from Agnes Moorehead, who plays Charlotte's maid Velma, to Joseph Cotten, who plays an unscrupulous doctor, out to destroy Charlotte.
"Hush, Hush...Sweet Charlotte" is the best film in the "Baby Jane" genre. There were many 1960's films that tried to duplicate the success of "Baby Jane", like "Lady in a Cage", Straight-Jacket", and "Dead Ringer", but "Hush, Hush" comes a close second to being the sequel that it was suppose to be to the mother film.
According to Bette Davis, she wasn't overly fond of the film, but fans of these hag-films, like me, love these vehicles: nothing like watching former movie queens, looking like hell, and tearing up the scenery!
This film also received a whopping 7 Academy Award nominations, but winning none: at the time the film set a record for a horror film receiving the most Oscar nods. This record would be broken in 1991 by "The Silence of the Lambs".
There is also another DVD release of "Hush, Hush" that is available, but if you already have the 2005 DVD release of the film I would suggest in passing on it. There is a neat documentary on the film, but it doesn't really offer anything that we ardent Bette and Joan fans don't already know. Contrary to public belief there are no Joan Crawford deleted scenes on the 2008 DVD release. Rumor has it 20th Century Fox destroyed the scenes that Joan did prior to leaving the film. In the second DVD there are still pictures of Joan in character as Miriam, but that is about it.
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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte by Robert Aldrich (DVD - 2005)
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